I had an interesting discussion with a leader of a Tucson cycling team about doing an interview about the Tacks in the road. This team sent out a very nice e-mail with some recommendations of what to do in case you encounter tacks on the road. Matthew Schwartz with KVOA news contacted the author to do an interview and update on the tacks, but they declined because they did not want to bring additional attention to the issue. They feel that the result of additional TV exposure might be to send the a“tack”er underground. They wanted to have a discussion of all the good things cyclist do for the community and change the dialogue away from the tack issue.
Personally, I think the more attention we bring to the subject will have 2 results. 1- the A”ttack”er will stop for fear of being caught. 2-Someone will turn him in. See the KVOA Interview here. http://www.kvoa.com/news/tacks-back-on-bike-paths/
What do you think? Are we better off keeping a low profile or screaming from every rooftop?
Here is a copy of the letter sent out to the team. I really appreciate the “DON’T BE A JERK ON THE BIKE” comment
“Here are some things to do:
1. If you come upon some tacks in the road, you should take the time to
call 911 and hang around for the police. You should especially call 911
if you flat, as you will be there for a while anyway. The sheriffs are
pretty quick about getting to the scene.
If you can’t wait to call, DO NOT PICK UP THE TACKS AND FLING THEM INTO
THE DESERT. Instead, pick them up and put them in a pile just at the
edge of the pavement, and send me an an email with the location.
To help the investigation, it’s really critical that we know the date,
day of the week and the time of the incident. A pattern is developing
and needs to be corroborated.
2. If you flat from a tack and have the tack in your tire, you probably
picked up the tack anywhere from 1/4 to many miles earlier. I had an
occasion where I picked up a tack and then rode to work for 15 miles
and only at the end of the day saw the tack in the not quite flat tire.
The reason that I say this some have flatted further up on the mountain,
and have assumed they got the tack there. If the tack is in the tire,
you almost certainly did not get tacked on the mountain. If the tack is
not in the tire, and you flat, it could be that you picked up the tack
on the mountain, but more likely, the tack came free and you flatted.
It’s important to report these, but you might not necessarily assume
that the tack was placed on the mountain. The sheriff’s department is
trying to determine if the mountain is being tacked, because this is
very much more dangerous than on the flats. If you don’t call 911,
3. Riding etiquette:
Remember the rules of the road when you are on a bicycle. This means
don’t blow through the stop sign at Snyder Road. At least slow down
and be prepared to stop. You should actually come to a complete
stop, but you don’t have to put a foot down. This is especially
necessary when there are motor vehicles at or approaching the
intersection, so those drivers don’t see all cyclists as jerks.
The bike lane on Catalina Highway is wide and usually pretty clean,
which means, if you can ride 4 across and still be to the right of
the fog line, then fine, but riding to the left of the fog line, is
and always has been illegal if there are more than 2 cyclist abreast.
Since the bike lane is so large, there is NO reason for any cyclist
to be riding to the left of the fog line, unless they are passing
The bottom line on all this etiquette is DON’T BE A JERK ON A BIKE!
Please talk to other cyclists about this email. The cycling community
can help find this person with proper reporting.
Thanks for listening.”